People, Travel

Tour Agents, Operators Urged to Overhaul Marketing

Tour Agents, Operators Urged to Overhaul MarketingTour Agents, Operators Urged to Overhaul Marketing

Travel businesses need to steer clear of “bland generic statements” when marketing, delegates at the Association of Independent Tour Operators’ overseas conference have been told.

Damian Cook, founder and chief executive of E-Tourism Frontiers, urged agents and operators to avoid phrases that are currently used and instead tell a story based on experiences, Travel Weekly UK reported.

He told delegates that they should not be afraid of digital and instead they should recognize it as a communication platform. However, he insisted companies need to strive to stand out in a crowd if they are to see traction.

“It’s a very competitive marketplace. There are a lot of people trying to sell travel out there; it’s very crowded and very noisy.

“It’s not the type of environment where you can just fall back on a bland generic statement, such as being the best tour operator or the best destinations. Words such as ‘the best’, ‘wonderful’, ‘luxury’, ‘stunning’ are all overused. This kind of language doesn’t work on the online space because you need to stand out from the crowd.

“Have strong unique messages and tell an interesting story. That’s easy in travel—share your experience and your client’s experience.”

He said the industry needed to stop seeing online as “a monster” and instead see it as an opportunity, adding: “Enable people to share experiences because if you don’t encourage that, you are killing your best opportunity for marketing.”